Michigan Overview of the Great Lake State

If you are looking for a place where outdoor recreation can be enjoyed during all four of the seasons, then you can stop looking. There is always plenty to do outdoors in Michigan from the rolling hills, lush forests, fertile farmlands, and sand dunes to the miles of shoreline bordering the Great Lakes. Rustic cabins and seasonal cottages invite visitors from all over the globe for a chance for rest and relaxation among some of nature’s most exhilarating views as the sun sets over Lake Michigan. Larger cities offer an urban lifestyle with modern conveniences available on just about every corner and employment available with some of the world’s largest automobile facilities that utilize the Great Lakes for transporting goods.

In the spring the shoreline’s blossoms of wildflowers begin to bloom as their beautiful aroma fills the air as the lake breezes blow. The birds in flight arriving to their northern home after a long winter’s roost in the South sing with joy as their songs echo in the forests while lakeshore birds begin to thrive. Leaves rustling in the woods indicate that native wildlife once again is en route and able to search for new resources such as shelter, water, and food. An occasional rain shower ensures the coming lushness of Michigan’s trees while replenishing the state’s precious water resources and guaranteeing the everlasting beauty of wild plants, flowers and farmlands.

Summer activities in Michigan offer an astounding amount of choices, particularly on the shores of the Great Lakes. Recreational boating is a very large pastime in most of the lakes, and large cargo barges are commonly visible on the horizon as they head to either the Mackinaw Straits or the Sault Sainte Marie Locks. Schooners make their journey along the Great Lakes every summer to commemorate the battles of the War of 1812 in Bay City, and a world renowned sailboat regatta race in order to benefit charities and attend various award ceremonies.

Autumn brings some of the country’s most spectacular displays of colors in the upper and northern lower peninsulas. Apple orchards come alive with customers seeking freshly picked apples and hot apple cider with donuts. When fall activities begin, they usually start with an old-fashioned hay ride or a walk through a corn maze. Caramel and candied apples are a treat when it is getting colder outside as you walk through the trails and pathways exploring the beauty around you. As winter slowly approaches, many folks begin to hunker down for the cold by canning and storing their own food, gathering wood for fuel, and making sure neighbors are without need.

The winter wind is crisp and bitter at times, but Michigan is certainly a winter wonderland. For the fisherman at heart, ice fishing provides ample opportunities for the die-hard fish lover to catch fresh fish in a warm shanty. Skiing is one of the most popular ways to enjoy outdoor recreation when the lakes are frozen, and freestyle skiing and snowboarding are increasing in popularity at all of Michigan’s world-class skiing resorts. An ice bridge lined with pine trees is located in the Straits of Mackinaw leading from Mackinaw City to Mackinaw Island; you can travel to the island in winter using this make-shift bridge, but only by snowmobile. Island access is also available by airplane out of a privately-owned airport out of Saint Ignace.

The Great Lakes of Michigan possess astronomical amounts of history of days gone by. In fact, the copper from the Keweenaw mines located in the Upper Peninsula was mined in the 1800s and transported from Hancock throughout all of the waterways that connect the Great Lakes; silver, gold, and other minerals are also mined in the upper part of the state, too. Native Petoskey stones are a common find just about anywhere in the state, but particularly along the Great Lakes’ shores and in high demand for jewelry. The Great Lakes:  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior – all should be considered wonders of the world.